10 Harmful Luteolin Side Effects You Should Know

Luteolin is a naturally occurring compound primarily found in fruits and vegetables. This article will talk about Luteolin side effects.

It is believed to provide health benefits that combat conditions such as cardiovascular diseases.

Here are some insights on luteolin, its side effects, and the benefits it can provide when consumed.

Luteolin is bright yellow and performs a variety of roles. It manifests itself in various parts of a plant, such as the leaves and bark.

As a flavonoid, the primary role of luteolin is to safeguard plants from biotic and abiotic stresses.

This is because they take on various roles, i.e., acting as UV filters, detoxifying agents, and antimicrobial defensive compounds.

However, traditional and modern medicine have embraced luteolin components to enjoy its health benefits.

How Does Luteolin Work?

Luteolin mainly helps with conditions that cause chronic inflammation. This is because it contains properties that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidative.

Therefore it is consumed in plant form and afterward hydrolyzed to release luteolin. The best part is that even when heated, the luteolin is still released, unlike some other nutrients.


1. It helps with Allergies

Luteolin helps with allergies by engaging the mast cells. 

Mast cells refer to a type of white blood cell responsible for triggering the body’s attack on itself in the case of an allergic reaction.

This is because mast cells break down and release histamine when the number of allergens in the body is more than they can handle.

As a result, histamine triggers feelings of chest congestion, sneezing, and a sense of disorientation in some cases.

Luteolin steps in by reducing the rate of mass cell degeneration. Consequently, this stops the production of histamine and prevents allergic reactions.

2. It Protects the Body Against Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)

As mentioned earlier, flavonoids are meant to be protective. Luteolin is specifically protective against a reactive species known as ROS.

ROS is a naturally occurring molecule that is unstable but easily reacts with other molecules in a cell. 

This can cause a dilution of matter such as DNA and RNA, which causes cell death and can lead to conditions such as cancer.

However, by being a flavonoid, luteolin specifically seeks out molecules such as ROS and stifles their generation.

3. It improves Brain Health

Luteolin contains both antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. 

However, its anti-inflammatory properties are believed to be crucial to good brain health.

According to some studies, most chronic neurodegenerative conditions are worsened by brain inflammation.

This is where luteolin plugs in due to its ability to prevent mutations and inflammation and reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Additionally, it also enhances neuron growth.

As a result, there is growing confidence that it can allow people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s to retain their cognitive and motor capabilities.

4. It acts as Natural Sunscreen

The antioxidants found in luteolin are believed to combat the damage caused by UV rays from the sun or ingested through your diet.

This creates a snowball effect because it simultaneously reduces your chances of contracting skin cancer.

5. It Boosts Testosterone

When your testosterone levels are low, there’s a high chance that a high amount of aromatase is produced within your body.

Aromatase refers to an enzyme responsible for the production of estrogen. It can be responsible for converting male sex hormones to estrogen.

However, when it is inhibited, there is a likelihood of a boost in testosterone levels.

Luteolin acts as an aromatase inhibitor and therefore facilitates a boost in testosterone levels within the body.

6. Anti-Cancer Properties

Cancer is a genetic disease affecting how your cells function, affecting how your cells divide and grow. 

Consequently, the cells mutate and implode upon themselves, which can be fatal. This is fueled by the fact that the cancerous cells are metastatic.

This means they can spread unnaturally fast within the body. Luteolin steps in to curb the development of mutating cells, therefore, putting cells on a more natural growth path.

Furthermore, metastatic cancer cells are also controlled by luteolin. This is because it suppresses the production of a protein known as a cytokine.

Cytokine facilitates the fast spreading of cancerous cells.

7. It helps Prevent Mental Illnesses

Luteolin can be used to combat mental conditions such as anxiety and depression. 

It has been used to prevent depression as it protects the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions (the hippocampus).

Furthermore, whenever you consume foods rich in luteolin, it reduces stress and anxiety.

8. It improves Asthma

Many studies show that flavonoids help reduce the effects of asthma.

Flavonoids contain powerful antioxidants and antimicrobial properties.

Luteolin also contains cytokines, which are compounds that inhibit receptors that are activated during asthma attacks.

Luteolin Side Effects

The side effects do not occur as a result of high toxicity. Considering luteolin is a naturally occurring compound, its side effects stem from high dosage or an allergic reaction.

However, quite interestingly, most of the luteolin side effects affect people differently depending on age. Below is a list of luteolin side effects 

1.) Increased Irritability

In sample cases, luteolin is believed to affect people differently. Consequently, this increased irritability among certain groups, most notably children on the Autism spectrum.

2.) Mood Instability

As established above, luteolin contains specific anti-cancer properties. This is partially done by preventing progesterone from operating effectively.

As a result of this inhibition, there is a high chance that there is likely to be hormonal instability.

This is because progesterone converts into estrogens, cortisol, and aldosterone. All of which perform roles that provide mood stability.

Therefore, the inhibition of progesterone can lead to sudden mood changes and changes in sleep patterns.

3.) Low Blood Pressure

According to studies, luteolin can lower blood pressure. Therefore when taken in excessive amounts, one of the luteolin side effects is that it can cause low blood pressure.

This is because it causes vasodilation of blood vessels.

Other notable luteolin side effects include:

4.) Wheezing 

5.) Breathing Difficulties

6.) Itching

7.) Swelling of the Lips

8.) Vomiting

9.)  Facilitates Colitis 

10.) Disorientation

However, it is important that these luteolin side effects come about from overdosing or allergic reactions.

Foods Rich in Luteolin

1. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is extremely nutritious and is packed with antioxidants. It also contains luteolin, which can help prevent certain cancers and helps promote good heart health.

2. Green Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers are often used as spices. However, they are not just to add flavor to food.

They are rich in luteolin and can help clear bacterial or fungal infections.  

3. Parsley

Parsley is a vitamin-rich plant that is also packed with luteolin. It is primarily used for its diuretic nature. However, it also increased energy levels both mentally and physically.

4. Celery

Celery is a veggie that is often integrated into meals in various ways, i.e., as a salad, eaten raw, or juiced into a smoothie.

Its anti-inflammatory properties are obtained from the amount of luteolin it contains.


As earlier articulated, luteolin side effects occur as a matter of circumstance. 

Although most studies on the benefits and luteolin side effects have not been tested on humans, it is clear for all to see that it is a highly potent compound.

However, the best part of actively seeking luteolin is that it’s naturally occurring and provides various benefits across various areas.

Additionally, luteolin side effects are temporary and can be easily tackled.

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